Federal Universities that have effected an increase on tuition fees due to the economic downturn might be on a collision course with the Nigerian Government after a mandate against such increment.
Speaking on the subject on Tuesday, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Mr David Adejo said this at a public hearing by the House of Representatives ad hoc committee on student loans in Abuja on Tuesday.
Adejo said that the recent increase in charges by federal universities in the country was unfortunate.
“What they collect is charges to cover the cost of accommodation, ICT, and power, among others. It is the Governing Councils of the Universities that have the power to approve such charges for them.
“The only university that increased charges after the signing of the student loans act is the University of Lagos.
“They came to the Ministry with a proposal to increase their charges because all Governing Councils were dissolved and we gave them approval.
“Immediately that was done, there was a resolution from the House stopping the increase in fees and the President also gave a directive stopping any increase in fees and that is where it is, even though several others have brought their proposal,” he said.
Adejo said that the charges collected by the institutions were used to pay for some of their services, including electricity bills.
He disputed assertions that some of the increase in university fees was caused by the passage of the Students’ Loan Act.
Adejo claimed that the universities have struggled to cover some costs in spite of the fees.
He claimed that plans had been made for the student loan programme to start in the 2023–2024 school year.
Adejo claimed that in order for the programme to launch in September, all necessary work on the launch mechanisms had to be finished. This was in accordance with a mandate from President Bola Tinubu.
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